Another day in DC

Greetings Insectamonarca friends,

I am attending the North America Pollinator Protection Campaign in Washington, DC. Yesterday I worked on task force S.H.A.R.E., which means share areas reserved for the environment. The focus is on European honey bee and native bees. I wanted to expand the pollinators to include butterflies. Pollinators are many including beetles, ants, birds, moths, butterflies, moths and more.

The farmers and ranches at conference are from large agricultural acreage and the representation is slanted towards the large instead of including small agricultural states that have small farms of perhaps several acreas such as in MA, VT and other states.

Happy Tonics, Inc. and Central Massachusetts Arts and Agricultural Coalition are here to make sure that nonprofits that have smaller pollinator habitats and farmers that are smaller are represented.

I expect I will be giving input to S.H.A.R.E as we work towards digital APP and signage for habitats.

Today I am leaving conference early so that I can go to Smithsonian National Natural History Museum. I want to photograph butterfly exhibit and see Flight of the Butterflies.

Be happy insectamonarca friends where ever you are.

monarchanna

monarchanna

 

 

 

 

 

Butterfly Dream Vision

Last night I had an uncanny dream. For years I have been working on behalf of the monarch butterfly, actually I do. My friend Sandy Stein and I were visiting what looked like a large vista that reached into the distance without end.  It appeared the land had once been used as a farm, but its relationship with the land went wrong. I somehow understood that the elder, in the dream, knew crops were in trouble in my home country because there were no pollinators.

monarchanna

monarchanna

The old gentleman that I really couldn’t visually see, stayed mostly in the background, but he was consciously  in my mind; I understood his intentions clearly. He knew of my work with the second largest group of pollinators in the world. The reverent elder was the owner of forests and fields that appeared to go on forever.  He made me to understand that 40 acres of land had been prepared for me and the pollinators.  I knew that he was giving me land for the butterflies. I was overcome, I could hardly believe my eyes, I felt so honored for my life’s work.

wild bergamot

wild bergamot

It was then, I felt him communicating, “I have admired you for being so tenacious on behalf of the monarch butterfly.”  He went on, “You have been teaching the people about the necessity of native habitat for the monarch and other pollinators. Many times you were all alone in your quest. I do know your dream and am giving this land to you for the butterflies.”

I was stunned when I realized  what he conveyed was real. I could look out into the distance and see the land was prepared for establishing a native pollinator habitat. I can’t tell you how honored and childlike I felt. I wanted to cry because someone really understood my heart and had made  it possible for me to have this  land for an  intended purpose.

When I asked,  “What will you do?”  He let me see vistas of forest that could be consciously and sustainably cut to grow more organic food for people and still have forests for wildlife and plants.

Realizing his truth, I could imagine that people might now listen and understand that we need to live in balance with nature. Could the time have come?

The dream was so beautiful that when I awoke I wondered if I had had a vision dream that gave me a glimpse into the afterlife.  I felt so blessed, humbled and longed to go to this place where I can live forever among the butterflies.

Swallowtail

Swallowtail

Seeding of a pollinator habitat

Slovak

Our Lady of the Woods

Ground cedar

Ground cedar

Ryan Conner, Happy Tonics Volunteer in Hayward, WI has a native habitat in his front yard. A few years ago, he decided to stop mowing. Bravo!

A visit to tranquility

A visit to tranquility

This past winter Ryan sent me some seed that he gathered from his own property. I am implementing a Wild Butterfly Habitat, on Ashby West Road, Fitchburg, MA. It is on family land and private.

RYAN’S NATIVE SEED:

Asclepias syriaca common milkweed

Desmodium canadense Showy tick-trefoil

Echinacea pallida Pale purple coneflower

Ratibida pinnata Gray-headed coneflower

Rudbeckia laciniata Green-headed coneflower

Solidago speciosa Showy goldenrod

I also bought seed packages for the following plants that were also scattered.

PACKAGED SEED:

Nepeta cataria Catmint

Aguilegia canadensis Columbine

Artemisia caudatus Love lies bleeding

Artemisia tricolor Joseph’s coat

Monarca media Monarda

Ecinacea purpurea Purple conflower

Helanthus spp. Sunflower

 

Ryan Conner proudly stands next to his Conservation Star Home Award sign

Ryan Conner proudly stands next to his Conservation Star Home Award sign.

I won’t look for instantaneous results. I have found that native seed sprouts when conditions are compatible to its growing needs. Sometimes seed can lay dormant for years before it emerges. We will see as time develops what takes.

In the meantime, I have put up a driftwood recycled birdhouse. This week another fanciful bird house for my sister’s grandchildren, a small shrine for for La Senora de Guadalupe and a wildflower wood-chime will be placed at the habitat.

Beauty is etheral

Beauty is ethereal

My sister Ronnie already thoughtfully brought a chair up to the habitat for me. It is set in the cool of the pine grove. She also planted ground cover succulents in an old wooden log that had the center eaten out by some critter. Each touch we add will offer refuge to me. There is a reason for this. My life is centered on living a purpose driven life. It is busy with speaking tours, leading restoration gardens, implementing pollinator habitats, teaching environmental classes and writing my third book. I simply need a place of refuge where I can unwind and listen to the wind. Here I do ceremony for water and communicate with the Creator’s natural world, which renews me. I love it so.

 

 

Discover the World of Monarch Butterflies

Mary Ellen's monarch copyright Cindy Dyer

Mary Ellen’s monarch copyright Cindy Dyer

Mary Ellen Ryall, naturalist and environmental educator, has written two children’s books on the life cycle of the monarch butterfly. An article, Bringing Butterflies Home, was published in the spring issue of Celebrate HOME Magazine.Come learn about the habitat, life cycle of the monarch and more at this Open the Public Free Event..

Ryall’s books and magazine will be available for sale. Some host plants for other butterfly species and milkweed seed for the monarch will also be offered.

Need help identifying two moth species

I looked all over the Internet and at Moth organizations in USA . I want to identify the following moths. At least I think they are moths.  They are unique. If you know species, please let me know. I will give you credit for identifying. The Field Guide I am writing will have butterflies and moths in the the book.

UPDATE: The two moths have been identified. Please visit www.butterfly-woman-publishing.com for the follow-up story of mystery moths and bog.

The photos were taken in northwest Wisconsin, south of the village of Minong, on a remote country road. I went out one day, with Anna Merritt Martineau, to do a butterfly shoot one day. I always see other species and try to record them also.

Mystery moth

Mystery moth

Tonya Treichel Albers identified first moth above as Friendly Probole Moth – Probole amicaria

Mystery moth copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

Second moth: Xanthotype urticaria (Geometridae) identified by Tonya Treichel Albers.

Butterfly Corner

May 9, 2012 published in Washburn County Register, Shell Lake, WI, USA

According to Scott Black, Xerces Society, Maya Lin, designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Civil Rights Memorial, is asking people the world over to share a memory about environmental loss – and, at the same time, learn about what’s being done to stop it. Ms. Lin’s appeal is being made in collaboration with The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and World Wildlife Fund to draw attention to Conservation in Action, the newest installment of What is Missing?, a global, multimedia artwork that serves as a memorial to our living planet. Part one can be viewed at http://vimeo.com/10990773What is Missing? This is a whole new way to experience the demise and plea to save threatened species due to habitat loss. Source: New York, NY (PRWEB)

May 2 – Xerces Society has included Happy Tonics on a new mailing list for the “International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Species Survival Commission (SSC), and Butterfly Specialist Group Survey, to assess global research and conservation needs of butterflies.” Xerces Society has published the analysis of survey results in a report, Assessment of Global Research and Conservation Needs for Butterflies: Analysis of Survey Results. Happy Tonics records butterfly species at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake. The nonprofit documents butterfly findings to Xerces Society and Wisconsin Butterfly Organization.

May 3 – We have been noticing a surge of butterflies in Minong. The temperature reached an average of 76 degrees Fahrenheit. There is a meadow full of pussytoes (Antennaria neglecta) growing next to my property. The little plant is host plant to painted lady butterfly. I haven’t seen the species yet. I bent down to take a closer look. There were lots of Milbert’s tortoiseshell butterflies enjoying nectar from the plant and dandelion. Some butterflies looked like they had recently emerged. They were bright in color. Others showed signs of age with faded and battered wings. Fast flying meadow fritillary butterflies were also seen. Common violet is their host plant. There are plenty of violets in my gardens in Minong. Violets are a sign of healthy soil. I have noticed a small colony of violets in the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake.

May 3 – Received a butterfly news update from Stephanie Ryall, Saratoga Springs, NY. “We had a big influx of Scarlett [red] Admirals yesterday. Have you heard of this phenomenon up your way? They fly very quickly and look like they are playing in pairs. Watching the sky in Saratoga.” Many of you know that my hometown is Saratoga Springs, NY. I will be there in August for racing season and book tour. Saratoga County protects the endangered Karner blue butterfly. Large tracks of land have been set aside for butterfly conservation. No development can occur near the butterfly reserves because Karner blue is protected. The DNR in Polk-Burnett County is marking habitat under power lines that has Karner blue host plant, native blue lupine. Unlike the monarch butterfly, which has endangered migration phenomena. Shell Lake is the seasonal home to the monarch and the butterfly does not threaten development.

Jo Stewart, St. Croix Writers; Boyd Sutton, Retired former Wisconsin Writers Association Officer

May 4 – 5 – Wisconsin Writers Association’s (WWA) spring conference was held at The Lodge, in Siren.

Mary Ellen Ryall copyright Anna Martineau Merritt

Mary Ellen Ryall copyright Anna Martineau Merritt

I had the opportunity to sell my book, My Name is Butterfly, and meet many butterfly friends. One individual stands out in my mind, Boyd Sutton. He devoted many years to reshaping WWA and was one of the organization’s driving force. Boyd retired this year. He was honored with an award and stand up resounding applause.

I was heartened to see more youth at the event this year, including talented Mikhaila Lampert. She is a high school age young lady who easily makes her way to outside the classroom learning experiences. Mikhaila earned a scholarship to WWA. It was a privilege to drive her to the conference and have the opportunity to get to know her a little. She lives on a farm near Spooner and loves butterflies. I expect we will see a lot more of her this summer at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat, as a volunteer. Anthony Bukoski was one of the speakers. He is the author of many short story collections. Born in Superior, he writes about the surrounding area. I learned a long time ago that a person should write about what they know. Bukoski reiterated the importance of these words to many aspiring authors.

Stacie Theis interviews published author Mary Ellen Ryall

Hello Insectamonarca friends,

Many of you realize that I have now become a published author. It is all about the monarch butterfly. As executive director of Happy Tonics, Inc., I have been fortunate to stay “tuned into” the life cycle of the monarch. I have come to understand the risks, biology, host and nectar sources, environmental behavior and a list that just keeps growing.

Hope you enjoy the journey.

Stacie Theis interviews published author Mary Ellen Ryall.

Morgen Bailey, United Kingdom, Interviews Mary Ellen Ryall

Dear insectamonarca friends,

I am delighted that Morgen Bailey, Northampton, UK, did an interview of me. The article went live on March 24.

Please visit the following link to read the author’s interview at http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/blog-interview-no-318-with-writer-mary-ellen-ryall/

 

Decline of monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico: is the migratory phenomenon at risk? – BROWER – 2011 – Insect Conservation and Diversity – Wiley Online Library

Decline of monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico: is the migratory phenomenon at risk? – BROWER – 2011 – Insect Conservation and Diversity – Wiley Online Library.

18 March 2012 – According to Journey North, the monarch butterfly has left Mexico and may have traveled north by 1,000 miles. Read the science behind the article about the decline of monarch butterflies. We need milkweed to establish a pollinating corridor across the United States.

Too warm in Northwest Wisconsin week of March 11. Three people told me they saw monarch butterflies. How can this be? There are no milkweed plants up yet.

 

Butterfly Corner

Published in Washburn County Register, February 8, 2012

News from Xerces Society, “In 2010, with support from the Monarch Joint Venture and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservation Innovation Grant, Xerces Society initiated a multi-state project to increase the availability of milkweed seed for large-scale restoration efforts in California, Nevada, Arizona, New México, Texas and Florida. Xerces is working with native seed producers and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Plant Material Program to increase the production of local ecotype native milkweed seed.” The reason for the collaborative milkweed seed project is because pollinators, including the monarch butterfly, are besieged with a threatened migration phenomenon.

Prior to Xerces Society milkweed initiative, Happy Tonics has been selling common milkweed seed since 1999. Milkweed is the only host plant of the monarch butterfly. The seed is offered in the Visitors Center/Store in downtown Shell Lake. The store reopens on Memorial Day Weekend. Out of season, milkweed seed is sold online through eBay. Several seed buyers from around the country are now donors of Happy Tonics nonprofit public charity. Some buyers have gone on to build butterfly gardens at schools and monarch butterfly habitats on their own property. It is good to know that monarch butterfly conservation is an ongoing environmental education act that brings positive results to help the monarch butterfly.

Cindy Dyer, VP Marketing, Happy Tonics, will have a one woman art show at the Horticulture Center, Green Spring Gardens, in Alexandria, Virginia. The exhibit, “Garden Muse: A Botanical Portfolio,” will run February 28 – April 29, 2012. If you wish to take a sneak preview of Cindy’s extraordinary floral and insect photography visit http://www.gardenmuseshow.com  Her garden photography was also honored by Nikon camera in 2011. Here is a link to their Web page featuring Cindy’s garden photography tips at http://www.nikonusa.com/Learn-And-Explore/Photography-Techniques/gr35ffdt/all/How-To-Grow-Your-Garden-Photography-Skills.html

In summer 2011, Cindy photographed butterflies and native plants while visiting the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake. We are working on a Field Guide – Monarch Butterfly Habitat. The publication will highlight the symbiotic relationship between native plants and pollinators including the monarch butterfly, birds and small animals.

 

 

 

 

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